As recruiters, we have a number of bug-bears when it comes to CV formatting – columns, tables, spaces instead of tabs – all of these can cause problems when importing a CV into a cover sheet. But by far the most frustrating trend is the increasing use of LaTeX to write CVs, with the subsequent document then exported to a PDF.
This trend is most common amongst graduates, no doubt encouraged by university computer science departments encouraging their students to use LaTeX internally. This may be fine when the finished document will not be edited, but all recruiters inevitably edit CVs – if only to import them into a cover sheet.
The problem occurs when exporting a PDF into Microsoft Word – LaTeX is designed to use ligatures and other typesetting features not normally used in standard word processing programmes. Microsoft Word itself can cope with ligatures, but the import process consistently fails to recognise these, and so a beautifully formatted CV can easily be transformed into a hideous mass of twisted formatting. Most commonly, this results in text being expanded or condensed, changed into a different font size, or even a completely different font. Returning a CV’s formatting to its former glory is a time-consuming task, and has one effect – we have less time to identify people for our vacancies.
So please, use Microsoft Word to write your CV – it’s in your interest.